A Career Change
After 14 years as a Building Surveyor I have been contemplating a new direction. This is my second career and maybe it’s time for a third?
I don’t know where the idea that your career choice, was a life choice, came from. Maybe, after investing years and money in a degree it seems a waste to change direction, but, I think when you have had a successful career for a number of years the impulse to change is high. New and fresh challenges await, it’s also surprising at how many transferable skills you have gained. Sometimes it’s not a complete change, it may be a move in a different direction.
I think I have felt the need to wriggle a little in my career for a while. That is what spurred the impetus to take on a secondment to Cyprus to construct a new University, whilst still working for the company I loved. When that project finished I couldn’t bare the thought of taking a step back to lecture hall refurbishment and small new builds. That’s when I took the leap in pure Project Management. A very different choice, a very uncomfortable leap into the unknown and a challenging time. I learned a hell of a lot in the three years I delivered high profile multi-million pound projects. Most of all, I learned that whilst I adored my client and all they stood for, pure PM was not my bag.
Hence a step back to a more traditional surveying role.
However, I have started to feel under-utilised again, my job is 90% simple with 10% challenge. I prefer a little more challenge.
Queue a Tony Robbins life coach.
I recently spent a good hour speaking with Charles in New York. A fully trained Robbins life coach. I had provided him with a completed questionnaire a week before our call. I had also completed an online multiple choice questionnaire which gauged how you react to situations, what your preferential learning, communicating and problem solving skills were. From that I got a very detailed diagnosis of my style and where my aptitude’s are best situated. I got a good outline of my strengths, some of them surprised me. It turns out I am actually a little more extroverted than introverted.
During my conversation with Charles we talked about what I want from my career, to which I honestly replied “I have no bloody idea, I feel at a cross roads but don’t know where I want to go” I told him I would be a nightmare client because I am lost. During our conversation the Tony Robbins stock phrases were banded about like confetti, he was unmistakable in his teaching style…”you get what you aim for”, “motion is emotion” etcetera etcetera.
Did I find him useful? Actually, very. The ability to talk to someone who has no prior knowledge of you, your baggage or your peccadilloes, someone with no vested interest or blinkered opinion was mind clearing. He was able to cut through all the turmoil and emotional bullshit and get to the crux. It was as I was explaining to him my job and what I currently do that I fell in love. I fell in love all over again with my job. I realised this is what I want to do and this is what I love to do.
My biggest life driver is contribution. That is, I need to feel that I have contributed to something bigger than myself in order to feel satisfaction and accomplishment. I found it working with the Ronald McDonald Charity and project managing their new builds and I find it now when restoring someone’s home following flood or fire.
He did offer me a life coach, but at a few hundred pounds a month I simply cannot afford it. If I were not self motivated and driven, I would probably have made a choice to give up something else to pay for it, I can see that a great deal of accountability and push can bring plans to fruition more quickly. For me? I would not see the full value. He openly admitted that a woman who crosses and ocean to get what she wants and drags it back and sets up all over again, is pretty self driven.
Would I consider a life coach in the future? It was a very positive experience. And just like hiring my training coach for the gym, the professional coach is a great motivator and can push you to achieve your goals a lot sooner than if you did it yourself. I always believe in hiring professionals for the right job, but then as a professional I would say that, wouldn’t I?